I find that the bought varieties of spinach just don't last long
(except the organic ones). I've become fed up with this whole thing
so I started planting spinach indoors in peat pellets. I live in a
bachelor apartment and there is no way for me to have a garden so this
has raised a few questions (which I wouldn't worry about at all, of
course, if I had access to a garden and could plant that way).
Just how does spinach grow?
Does it become bush-like? or is it a stalky type of plant with many
I don't know what to expect as I've never grown spinach at all before
(or any other type of lettuce, fruit or vegetable <lol>).
Also, probably my biggest concern is how many plants will I need to
furnish me with a couple of handfuls of spinach a day for a salad??
The next concern is how long any given plant may last ... is it a
perennial, I believe the term is? In other words, will one plant just
keep going and going ... that way, if I knew that that was the case,
it would just be a question of finding out over time how many plants
I'd need going at the same time in order to rotate "harvesting" leaves
from each one.
Thanks so much! I appreciate any info anyone can provide this garden
Depends on the variety. But, they are day length sensitive, once the
day length has reached so many hours of light, they tend to just bolt
right to flower and set seed. They also like cool growing conditions,
and of course, they require BRIGHT light growing conditions. I've
never tried to grow them indoors of course, but if you have a cool
room where you can hang some 4' light fixtures over some tables full
of pots for them, or go hydroponic, but I think it would perhaps be
cheaper to either go buy the stuff from the store the day you want to
use it. They don't keep long in fridges for many reasons. If you do
opt for growing it, keep the florescent lights about 2" above the
pots, and then about that far from the growing points of the plants as
Self defrosting refrigerators work by blowing cold air and then
periodically blow hot air into the fridge and freezer to dissolve any
frost that's formed. In the process the dry out all your food too,
they're horrible to keep produce in for very long if you don't have a
real crisper drawer that has a controlled humidity level and doesn't
get the hot air, but even still.. nothing lasts as long in a
self-defrosting refrigerator, even the ice cubes are ruined in
freezers, they slowly are "freeze dried" out of existence and taste
nasty long before the process is completed.
I store stuff in plastic bags with paper towels in them to help keep
buildup of condensation to rot things so quickly, and wash the greens
after you take them out just before you're going to eat them .. but..
basically just buy them no more than a day before you're going to eat
As to the sizes.. well Dad grew some Giant Nobel spinach one year that
had leaves 12 to 14 inches long and 6 to 8 inches wide at the largest.
He'd planted them in the fall and they came up then went dormant until
growing conditions were right in the spring and then they just took
off and got HUGE. They were great on tuna sandwiches on leaf folded
to get it to fit on the bread was sufficient! Sometimes half a leaf
if it was a small slice of bread.
Usually they get a few inches wide to the monsters above, all depends
on the plant.. and some plants can get a couple feet tall/long as
they flop over. Once the weather is too warm and days too long, then
folks switch to warmer weather substitutes, New Zealand "spinach"
malabar spinach, and such.
If you choose to try it, you should read up to see what the optimal
"day length" is, and temp that they like and then put them in a room
with A/C and only artificial light you can control I'd think. LOL I
don't like spinach *that* much ;-)
Thank you so _much_ for this info! I appreciate the advice re just
buying the spinach but that's been the whole problem as there is no
grocery store convenient to me and it's difficult esp in winter.
This whole idea still sounds great! I'm very enthousiastic now, the
plants germinated a few days ago and they seem to be coming up just
fine. This all is for health reasons. I just am so borderline with
my health and digestion that that days I don't eat greens I literally
feel it. Spinach is the darkest, I've found, and I just do so well
after I found a place where I can buy spinach salad that that's my
first choice but also the most unknown. I'll also be trying lots of
different salad greens. I got the idea when I bought some of those
bags of baby spinach and baby lettuces and such. How hard can it be,
thought, now that my apt isn't killing everything <lol> (new shelving
unit with 2 4-foot fluorescent fixture!) I also have some herbs
I know that in time this will all become second nature and I'll come
to understand the plants and their needs and will figure out how much
I'll need to plant to get what I need, it was just to get a helping
hand at the beginning.
Thanks so much for both responses; I really appreciate it (plus the
picture of the spinach! I've never seen it growing so didn't know
what to expect!)
On Wed, 26 May 2004 22:20:34 -0600, Janice
I get it that you like spinach, but keep in mind that spinach contains
high levels of oxalic acid and while the plant is high in vitamins,
eating it TOO MUCH can cause other problems as oxalic acid interferes
with the metabolization of some vitamins and minerals.
Broccoli is very high in practically everything, and much higher than
some other things that have been touted as the best source ..like
fresh broccoli is a better source than OJ of vitamin C. It's high in
calcium too, and of course Vitamin A and the list goes on.
Before I'm hopped on for saying spinach is bad, I didn't say spinach
is BAD, I just said that oxalic acid does interfere with
metabolization of some other stuff. I don't remember off the top of
my head, and don't feel like looking them up, but they're there if you
want to look ;-)
Good luck with the indoor growing. It's great when things start
growing, isn't it.
Just an idea... A few years ago, I grew some "perpetual spinach".
It's not a true spinach. It's a type of beet, but looks and tastes
the same. It lasted ages. I just picked a few leaves when I needed
them, then they grew back. Maybe you could grow some in a flower pot.
I didn't have any problems with them.
I've been growing Nasturtiums in pots this year. The leaves taste
like watercress. They're in the same family. Easy to grow as well.
Just had some on my cheese and pickle sandwich.
And when did your taste buds depart?
We planted some too. Both of us like spinach salad but couldn't
take the perpetual spinach - or the various chards. The taste
and texture were both different to us.
Did you eat it in salad or cooked?
One of the new things we found that we did like was orach. The
red especially gives color to a salad.
On Wed, 2 Jun 2004 14:22:50 -0700, Larry Blanchard
Oh, so it's not beets we're talking about but a "type" of beet. Okay.
Got it now.
As a vegetarian, I just know that a sald full of greens is awesome. I
wish I could eat this every day but that's been a hard thing to do.
However, if I cold grow a bunch of different types of greens in pots,
a few leaves off of different plants each day so that they sort of
rotate, will make all the difference in the world. I'll know I've
arrived when I can have a nice medium-sized salad (or large, which is
my preference) every day and it comes from my growing centre here at
home! <g> Wow, that would be somehthing!
Orach? I've never heard of that. I'll have to look into this one,
Thanks everyone! <g>
On 2 Jun 2004 04:48:27 -0700, email@example.com (aj) wrote:
That's exactly the type of thing I'm looking for. I have beet seeds
and some lettuces that I'll try, too. I'm just concerned with getting
the darkest in right now due to iron deficiency (related to
hypothyroidism). I'm not bothered by the oxalic acid issue simply
because I don't eat enough spinach or even other greens on a
consistent basis to be worried. But I'm tired of buying those salads
in bags and having to pick through the parts that go bad very quickly,
This is so exciting. I've lived in this apt for 7 years but unlike
other apartments I've lived in, growing conditions are bad here -
insufficient light, slightly on the damp side. The new growing centre
is working wonderfully, though, with fluorescents! It's not like the
jungle I had when I lived in a south-facing apt, but sure is the best
I've seen since then! <g>
I'll have to give the beets a try. That was one of the things in my
store-bought salad today. Nasturtiums sound interesting, too!
Anything that grows in a pot and that doesn't spread too horribly will
(Yum re the sandwich! It's making me hungry! <lol>).
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